Vegan mania is fast setting in. Veganuary reportedly saw the number of participants reach over 150,000, many deciding to stay Vegan even after January came to an end, whether you are a full time, lifelong Vegan, a part time Vegan, a health conscious Vegan, or a Vegan against animal cruelty, or maybe you just want to see what all the fuss is about. I fell in love with Veganism around 6 months ago after going back and forth being a vegetarian/pescatarian my entire life. I had always wanted to go Vegan and never fully given myself the push, until I watched What The Health. It was all I needed to nudge me to being a full time committed Vegan, so in love with my new lifestyle (not in a preachy 'EVERYONE SHOULD BE VEGAN’ type way) that I wanted to share some of my favourite spots in London. For visiting Vegans, for those that want to try something new, or for London Vegans that maybe need somewhere new to frequent, here are my favourites.
OK. Even before I was Vegan, this was my favourite place to eat in London. With restaurants in Croydon and Shoreditch, Cook Daily serves up some of the best food I have ever eaten IN MY LIFE. I would recommend the Hard Bowl, Yoga Fire, and High Grade, but to be honest everything they do is amazing. Most come with brown rice and your choice of veggies, tofu, or Vegan Chicken. Since I discovered this place a few years ago I have begged them for a cookbook every time I eat there and also harassed them on social media about it. They are now picking up a lot of press and their head chef is being hailed the ‘King of Vegan London’ by Time Out magazine, and I would have to agree. I have never visited their Croydon spot, but the Shoredicth restaurant sits up top of Shoreditch box park with a mismatch of benches and tables, surrounded by shisha pipes and pop up cocktail bars. It is a 10 second walk from Shoreditch High Street station — oh, and it is amazing if you are eating on a budget…. what more could you ever ask for?
Recently opened in Hackney Central, tucked away off the high street, Dough Society is an all Vegan Doughnut paradise. I have never in all my life seen such insane flavours… I did that annoying thing where I ask.. 'and it’s Vegan?!?!?!' to every single one, just to check. Banofee pie doughnuts, chocolate brownie doughnuts, the Homer doughnut complete with pink icing and sprinkles, white chocolate and caramel cognates, peanut butter pretzel doughnuts… For Valentine's day they did a limited batch of Red Velvet doughnuts. I could have eaten them all. They also brew incredible coffee, have free wifi, and they let dogs in. So they win in every sense.
OK, so imagine an indoor market that runs till late with all the incredible Vegan food you could possibly ask for. Every kind... Mexican, Thai, American, Pie and Mash, Chinese, Sweets and Cakes.... live DJs and acts, Vegan clothing... everything your little Vegan heart could imagine. OF COURSE it is held on Brick Lane. It is not a permanent fixture; these events are pretty special, and are loved by the likes of super Vegan, Boy Better Know Grime MC JME. Follow their Facebook page for updates.
The Fields Beneath
I'm obsessed with this little hidden gem. I stumbled across it when I began doing my aerial training in Kentish Town; it's directly underneath the railway arch at Kentish Town West overground station. A tiny little indie Vegan paradise. This is one of the only times I have seen Vegan croissants, and my god do they deliver.... I usually get their marmite and mushroom one, but the chocolate one is also to die for. Every day they have different things, so don't go in expecting to have what you ate the day before... I kind of love this because I get to try new things each time. Reasonably priced, my only issue is that they close at 4 PM and I usually get there too late when I work in the evenings, which saddens me...
I am slowly but surely making my way through the entire menu here but I can safely say that SO FAR the best things have been the chocolate brownie with caramel sauce and ice-cream (yep, all vegan), the buttermilk fried 'chicken' with sweet potato fries and slaw, and the mushroom pie with chunky chips and peas. Mildred now has restaurants in Soho, Camden, Kings Cross, and directly on my doorstep in Dalston. Reasonably priced, amazing choices for EVERYONE—even the skeptical meat eater, cocktails that will warm your cockles and desserts that will make you say 'go on, then' even when you are definitely already full up. Would recommend a billion times over.
Temple Of Seitan
Wanna go Vegan but worried about missing out on things like chicken wings? Friend chicken? Chicken burgers? Pulled pork? Mac n cheese? No worries. Temple Of Seitan has got your back. I still can't get my head around the fact that this is not meat, and not even that.... that it is entirely Vegan. I mean sure, don't eat here everyday if you want to keep your trim new Vegan figure.... but definitely eat here! Actually, eat here if you aren't Vegan just so you can see that we don't all eat seeds and water. Some guy told me I should eat a bucket of KFC chicken the other day when I tweeted that I was hungry... I replied that I was Vegan and he told me to eat 'a weetabix with some water'; non-Vegans are confused. That is why they should give some Vegan food a try before they judge and make stupid comments. If I was going to send a non-Vegan somewhere for one meal, it would probably be here.
Eat By Chloe
After an incredibly successful run in NYC and LA, Eat By Chloe has arrived in Covent Garden, London. I have yet to sample it but I have dinner plans there this week off the back of every single person I know (meat eaters too) telling me I HAVE to go here, boasting the best in Vegan comfort food in a chic London setting... I can't give my opinion on the food as of yet, but from what I've heard it is to die for. I'm adding it to the list prematurely off the back of the raving reviews it has been receiving.
Fed By Water
Vegan Italian restaurant in Dalston (where else?). East London is becoming a utopia for all things Vegan. The amount of people I have heard say 'well, I would go vegan but I just can't give up cheese...' I urge you to visit Fed and just have a pizza or some of their creamy pasta and tell me if you still need cow's milk to make the cheese you love so much.
Also they deliver... added bonus.
Broadway Vegan Market
Held every Saturday from 10 AM – 4 PM in the playground of London Fields Primary School, it boasts 10–15 stalls of entirely Vegan treats, including Greek food, Mexican Burritos and Nachos, Insane Jackfruit Burgers, huge cake stalls, home cooked Vegan breads, Japanese noodles. The list goes on. The website has a list of who's trading each week. It is outside but there are a few tables to sit at and it is right next to London Fields and Broadway market, so on a sunny day it is a perfect place to go and chill out.